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Valentine's Day is right around the corner.
Chances are you've got some sparkly jewelry in your future.
Remember: A diamond is forever only if you take good care of it.
And gold, silver, diamond rings, opals, pearls, and gemstones have special cleaning and storage requirements.
Fine jewelry warrants the finest fare. This guide to cleaning jewelry will help keep your precious pieces sparkling.
No jewelry - not even your wedding ring - should be worn all the time. All stones (including diamonds and sapphires) can chip. And gold, silver, and platinum are easily scratched. Harsh chemicals can damage both stones and metals.
So take rings off when you do hard work or work out hard. (If you lose a stone, you'll never find it.)
You should also take them off when you clean the house or garden. Household cleaners can damage beautiful stones and settings - and you run the risk of catching it on something.
You'll also want to shed the family jewels when you bathe, swim, or soak in the hot tub (chlorine can damage stones and metals), and when you go to the beach - salt is also hard on these pieces.
We often don't take these pricey pieces off for fear of losing them.
Clean your jewelry occasionally to remove grunge around settings and remove oily buildup that dulls the sheen.
Cleaning tips: Most jewelry can be cleaned by soaking for a few minutes in a bowl of lukewarm water with a little dish-washing detergent and scrubbing gently with a toothbrush. (Never use toothpaste - it's too abrasive.)
Cleaning jewelry by type:
Resist the urge to toss your jewelry into the bottom of a jewelry box. Not only do chains get tangled, but can damage the gems.
Diamonds and sapphires can scratch metals and other gemstones. Here's how to store your good stuff: